September was the Month Without

without power, without phone, without irrigation water, without hot water …

October begins with all those “withouts” firmly in place except for one: we have hot water in the house! It has now been 29 days without all the rest.

We periodically start the generator to keep our refrigeration (for food) going, to access the Internet, to make coffee, and occasionally filter the pool (which is a respite in this heat wave). One inch of ash fall was hard on everything. It really made a mess of the pool.

We have attempted to chase residual pools in the creek for a few gallons of water to keep critical plants alive, but that exercise became futile, yesterday. Five hours of hard work for 30 minutes of water on a few plants. The water is brackish and gray from ash. Usually the pH is about 5.8. pH is now a little over 7 now – also from the alkaline ash.

Lucy is home now. The ranch she was staying at with her boyfriend came under immanent threat from the Zogg fire and I drove up to Redding with our friend Jess to get Lucy back home. We hope she’s bred! So far, Lucy’s boyfriend’s ranch is okay.

We have purchased a 2500-gallon water tank to start getting water delivered at ten cents per gallon. It will do nothing for the pasture, but will help keep key plants alive. We also purchased a 2″ portable Honda high pressure water pump (which we were using to pump creek water — it can be used to pump the swimming pool dry if it comes to that).

Half of our 30-goat herd will be sold Saturday to reduce pressure on pasture and our ultimate need to go buy more hay. We are very sad to have to do this.

We are also in an incredible, record-breaking heat wave. Most of California is baking, much of it burning, and a lot of it covered in choking smoke. To get an idea about the heat, San Luis Obispo was 107 degrees yesterday. The record was 97 set in 1980. The normal high for this time of year: 78. So, almost 30 degrees hotter than it should be. To get an idea about fire’s extent compared to recent: twenty (20) times more acres have burned in CA this year than last year. Anyone, ANYONE, who does not understand how anthropomorphic climate change is wrecking what was normal, for all of us on this planet, hurts all of us with such obstinate resistance. Runaway greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly by human activity have some wicked things in store for all living things. People who think they are safe because they don’t live in CA or because they don’t ‘believe’ in climate change are in denial — understandably so, because what they are seeing out here is frighteningly huge and ultimately, global.

8 thoughts on “September was the Month Without”

  1. So sorry about the goats! Another well sounds absolutely necessary if you can manage to do it?

    1. You are right, another well is essential. No, it’s not in the retirement budget, but a lot of this wasn’t. We still need to get the water aqueduct working again, long term. That just has to happen, too, but a well would buy us a little time.

    1. Hi Carol, I learned when I was working to help folks affected by the Camp Fire a few years ago that cash, no strings attached, is the best help in the immediate aftermath of a disaster like this. But also, I have found that friends that can bird-dog specific things like getting water delivered, or having packages delivered really make a difference (since we don’t have reliable phone service). Often they run into issues of confidentiality (understandably), so there are limits to how much someone can facilitate someone else’s private matters without legal power. Want to take on AT&T? I’m joking … no one would want to beat his/her head into a wall, even for someone else, when it comes to AT&T!

      1. AT&T is a hard one to crack but I am willing to give a couple of swings at it! The line service will be what it is but the cell service there has to be something that they can do better, but I am sure that has been argued before over and over. If you think I could help or make a difference let me know.

      2. Hmm. Maybe! Here’s what I know: AT&T tells the CPUC and the FCC that they have this area saturated with terrestrial broadband (which implies strong cellular signals or fiber — we have neither). So, AT&T is lying to the FCC and the CPUC. This has been going on for years and there’s enough data to show California legislators know this. Still, nothing happens. Why? Few people mean no voice for them and no profit for AT&T. So coming at the problem from that direction has been pointless. However, maybe AT&T can do something — if AT&T believes it has this area saturated with signal, then AT&T should send someone here to prove it — otherwise, AT&T is abetting a potentially life-threatening situation by willfully neglecting our plea that we cannot access 911 or get safety alerts. We need to make sure there is a record of AT&T’s willful neglect in as many places as possible for potential future litigation. Also, I have “heard” that there are things like “booster antennas”. Maybe AT&T could supply us with one and set it up if AT&T can’t immediately resolve lack of towers and landline. That would be a really effective, low-cost solution if it worked. Here’s a good tool to see what providers are telling CPUC:

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